Last chapter. PLEASE leave a review on this one.
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Maura took another long moment to just look at Jane, but this time she was not memorizing for later anything for later or categorizing facial muscle positioning for later analysis. This time she was looking for the sheer sake of getting to look all she wanted. One long, long inhalation; hold; long, long exhalation. "You don't have to say it right now, Jane," she replied at last, transferring both of Jane's hands to her left and raising her right to tenderly hold that strong-featured face, to stroke a thumb over Jane's lower lip, following the pathway her eyes had drawn so often that the physical touch was almost unnecessary, just a formality. "Listen very closely, because while I am sure I will repeat this often, I want you to understand it fully the first time. You will never have to deal with losing me. Okay? Never. No matter what. There's nothing you could say to me right now that I don't want to hear. And if you need, I'm sure you're quite aware that I can keep talking as long as needed, until I say whatever it is that you need to hear in order for you to know that you are safe with me. I've got you."
Jane leaned into the touch, closing her eyes to simply feel the contact. "I know... I know you do, Maura. You always do. It's one of the things I love about you." Her eyes flew open in an instant. She froze, not sure what to do or say now that she'd said the one thing she was trying to avoid. After a few slow blinks, she finally broke herself free of her self-induced moment of panic. She took hold of the hand that had just a moment before tenderly touched her face and pulled it back down to the bed. "I've never had a," she shook her head. "No, too cliché, even for me." With a chuckle, she tried again. "Maura," she bit at her bottom lip for a moment as she thought. "Planning and talking about my feelings is not really my thing. I like to just do. So, if I just do, you promise not to hold it against me if it all blows up?"
Maura bit her lower lip. Everything slowed again, everything became significant again as it had done earlier in the day. Somewhere within her, Maura decided to remember every single thing about this night; then in an even deeper part of her mind, decided not to preserve the moment in plastic wrap, but to keep it alive and touchable. She didn't ask permission, didn't directly answer Jane's question, didn't say a word. She just leaned forward and kissed the corner of Jane's mouth where it met the warmth of her cheek, and her eyes remained closed as she let the kiss go without moving away at all. "I promise," she whispered belatedly, voice gone temporarily as husky as Jane's.
Jane inhaled sharply at the contact. Maura's reply was all it took for her to finally decide to do instead of talk. She moved her head slightly, connecting her lips with Maura's.
It was a soft, gentle kiss. Though the emotion was there, Jane took her time instead of deepening the kiss as she wanted to. She pulled Maura closer to her as the kiss continued until she could feel the curves of the other woman press against her. It took some effort for her to pull back, but she held Maura close, not wanting to lose the contact. "Maur, this is a scary thing for me." She leaned her head against the blonde's shoulder. "But, I don't want to pretend this didn't just happen." She inhaled deeply as she pulled them both down to lie on the bed. "But, I think I need to sleep on this okay?" She reached over and turned the light out. With a seemingly contented sigh, she wrapped her arms around the doctor. "I'll tell you this, though; I want to hold you tonight. Is that okay?"
"Yes," Maura breathed, calm despite the open passion in her darkened eyes. She would have said the same no matter what Jane asked, the habit of their friendship already well-established in her was to give whatever was needed or wanted, no questions. Jane had done it herself once, answering a phone by blurting out "Whatever you want, I can get it". The two of them really had only two barriers between them: actual sex and acknowledgement that such a thing as romance might actually be on the table. It seemed that Maura Isles, at least, had dropped even those barriers. Whatever Jane was ready for, she was ready for, too. Even yet, there was no pressure at all in the blonde, body language proclaiming softly but with certainty that she could wait for as long as was needed, until Jane was as comfortable as she was herself.